There is no greater warrior
than a mother protecting her child.
It started out like any conversation. She was walking her dog, Mia, and Bert and I were doing some pre-spring gardening in our front yard. There's a "For Sale" sign on their home, and it won't be long until these special neighbors move back east. After all, both of their daughters are now there, one in college and the other starting graduate school.
Moving is a sentimental experience for most of us. You can pack up all your "stuff," but homes hold precious memories, dreams that came true and those that didn't.
The day before she had just heard her oldest daughter play her piano in their home for the very last time.
She talked about this funny feeling she had been having, almost a grief had taken over her heart. She mentioned feeling sentimental about everything, and she voiced feeling confused about the intensity of her emotions. Her eyes watered up, tears at the surface as she talked about her girls growing up and leaving home.
I knew exactly how she felt.
No one can explain it. Unless you have been there,
and had your children leave home, you can't get
the deep range of emotion you feel.
Happy and elated for their goals and success.
Sad to the core of your being that life is changing in ways that you can never quite understand.
While you will always be their Mama, and love them with your whole heart, part of your job of raising them up is completed.
Yet, when most jobs are over, you might get a certificate or reminder of service. Not this one.
As I saw our dear neighbor's tears forming, I remembered how many tears I have cried over our precious girls. Tears of joy, tears of laughter, tears of distress, tears of frustration, and tears of grief.
What a complete and total honor it has been to be their Mama all these years.
Yet I remember so well when they both went off to college, became teachers, got married, had their own homes and their own precious children.
It seemed like in a blink that part of raising them and going to every activity imaginable...it was gone.
Now we go as a cheering crew for our grandchildren's activities. Pure JOY!
So as our neighbor's eyes welled up with tears as she talked about her daughters and how fiercely protective she is of them, I knew.
My heart lurched as I heard her talk... reminiscing at my own days gone by.
Like so many Mamas, I have been there. I have cried those same goodbye tears.
I love being a Mama. Then and now.
And I wouldn't trade a moment of it, not one.
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